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Review of the LG Gram Pro 17

Review of the LG Gram Pro 17

Selecting a laptop necessitates making a tradeoff. A tiny screen and a confined keypad are the price of being lighter and more portable. Stretching out and often having greater power are two benefits of a larger laptop, but portability is sacrificed. What does a creative person on the run do? Is there someplace the finest of both worlds to be found?

Let us start with LG and its Gram Pro 17, and I will not even try to tip my hand: It is by far the lightest and thinnest 17-inch laptop I have ever seen, measuring only 18 millimeters thick and 2.8 pounds in weight.

To start, in case you believe I am being exaggerated, here are some points of comparison. The 17.3-inch Acer Nitro 17 that I recently evaluated is 34 mm thick and weighs a substantial 6.3 pounds. When it was released in 2018, HP’s Omen X 17 weighed 9.9 pounds and had a massive 41 mm circumference. It was so large that it was even without an optical drive. The peculiar HP Spectre Foldable is the only device that even comes close to fitting the bill. It is 23 mm thick and weighs 3.5 pounds with its detachable keyboard, however those are scarcely comparable numbers.

That is essentially the idea. For this laptop, there are no relevant comparisons or points of reference. When I started unpacking, it seemed like a practical joke. Was it my fault that a kid’s plastic toy arrived at my house rather than a Windows laptop? The standard one-pound power brick is missing. Since 2019, LG has been producing iterative variants of this laptop; nonetheless, even the previous models fall short of this 2024 model’s featherweight status.

Along with being incredibly thin and light, what else does the new Gram Pro 17 offer? Supported by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, a 2-terabyte solid-state drive (interestingly set up as two logical disks), and 32 GB of RAM, is an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H CPU. That is a somewhat antiquated, entry-level graphics processor, which I will discuss in greater detail shortly. With a resolution of 2,460 X 1,600 pixels, the brilliant IPS screen is not touch-sensitive (to keep things thin).

The device’s port selection, which is adequate but not exceptional, is organized on both sides with none on the back. A full-size HDMI port, two USB-A ports, and two USB-C 4.0 ports are included. The bundled A/C adapter must be charged using one of the USB-C connectors.

Here, LG’s design is minimalistic, with a matte-black, powder-coated exterior with soft corner curves and no embellishments other than the “Gram” emblem at the top. To the right of the roomy keyboard is space for a (rather slim) numeric keypad, albeit the device’s exceptional thinness necessitates limited key travel.

Every laptop review has to include a period when you have to use the gadget, and with a product like this, there are expectations that certain compromises have to be made to make the device so thin and light. I regret to inform you that this is, to some part, the case; but, whether or not the unit is shortcomings are absolute deal-breakers will ultimately be up to the individual.

Let us talk about performance first. It is decent, but not exceptional, especially considering that an integrated graphics chip can provide better graphics and gaming performance than a lower-end graphics card can. On certain benchmarks, I noticed a slight performance gain over the recently reviewed Core Ultra laptops, but on many others, I found no change at all. The improvement in score over a typical laptop with integrated graphics was rarely greater than 20 or 30 percent, even on the laptop’s most successful graphics tests. Even if that seems important, our discussion is still limited to very basic, entry-level performance on graphics tests.

The unit provided at- or below-average performance on general business tasks. The Gram Pro received one of the lowest scores I have ever had in the Core Ultra era on the common PCMark 10 benchmark. While this should not raise too many red flags, a small percentage of my benchmark tests failed repeatedly while being tested; who knows what gimmicks LG used to get all of this into 2.8 pounds? With only 6 hours and 31 minutes of full-screen YouTube playback, the battery life is somewhat low—again, not surprising.

The LG Gram Pro 17 has another significant issue that is, excuse the pun, very popular: it can overheat. warm. It was in a review that I previously griped about a Microsoft Surface reaching 109 degrees Fahrenheit. That appears insignificant in comparison to the scorching 121 degrees I recorded with the LG Gram Pro 17 in the strip above the keyboard as well as underneath. That is hot enough to burn first-degree burns, and it is scary as heck, based on how hot my thighs and fingertips feel.

Notably, the Gram Pro has an undocumented function that allows you to change its “performance mode” by simply pressing the F7 key. There are four different operating modes: Max Mode, which lets the hounds run wild, and Low Noise Mode, which mutes the noise but requires a fan. Performance may be significantly impacted.

Even though Max Mode only slightly outperforms Normal Mode in most programs, by pushing it to the limit, I was able to treble frame rates in graphics tests. (Throughout this review, the Max Mode benchmark results are presented.) The fan made a loud 51 dB sound on Max Mode, but it made no sound at all on the other two working modes. This is another audible difference.

Lastly, there is the matter of cost. When purchased as configured, the LG Gram Pro 17 costs a hefty $2,300. The unit would have been able to justify the expense if it had the performance capabilities to support that claim, but as it stands, the user experience is comparatively mediocre and occasionally unpredictable. Its propensity to run extraordinarily hot makes me wonder if this laptop will not last as long. The flame with twice as much brightness—well, you get the picture.

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